My last blog ended with an experiment — to play a game and:
watch the effects of the game on your attention, your mind and your body. Were you wakeful? … contemplate your answers along the lines discussed: What MEANING do we choose to give to what we observe? … how do we REACT, RESPOND or choose to ACT (or not to ACT)? 1
When you played the game, did you see yourself as the “hero”? We are constantly doing that in real life, attempting to interpret everything we do as an heroic act: “… we strive to be the hero of the day, accomplishing epic feats that amaze.” 1
Or did you judge your participation more along the lines of Joseph Campbell’s quote: “When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” 2
Either way, as we have delineated earlier in this blog, you are the one to give it meaning that will affect your choices in life.
Let’s say that it was the latter Campbell quote that spurred you to participate in the exercise. The MEANING, then, in Ngub Nding’s progression, is that you think of yourself as someone who desires growth and transformation and are willing to do something about it. That is Step 3 — you ACTED upon it and played the game as a test.
So, it’s easy to see the progression: 1) focusing attention; 2) giving meaning; 3) choosing to act (or not act).
Not long ago, I met Brother David Steindl-Rast, a very-enlightening elderly Benedictine monk. He teaches that spiritual communities are becoming more and more important in a world increasingly dangerous to live in. After the attacks in Paris, his vision is proving more and more relevant. Synchronicity Foundation in rural, central Virginia has a community of people who have moved here from all over the globe, as a way to support their intention to live a holistic lifestyle and conveniently attend retreats and events. A recent surge in our community’s size would also tend to validate Brother David’s wise vision.
In the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (which I quoted in earlier blogs), the author makes powerful statements about the value of community to help people make changes in their lives. His research results on habits and addictions also applies to changing lifestyles to slower, more conscious ones that support holistic living and meditation.
He wrote: “… for habits to permanently change, people must believe that change is feasible.” 3 He goes on to explain that belonging to a community of like-minded souls creates the most important intervention for change: “There’s something really powerful about groups and shared experiences. People might be skeptical about their ability to change if they’re by themselves, but a group will convince them to suspend disbelief”. 4 “When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that change to occur becomes more real.” 5
People the world over are reflecting on their lives these days, as they read the news and see the increasing conflict and suffering resulting from unconscious beliefs and lifestyles. This might be a good time for us all to evaluate what we are doing with our lives: are we living up to our potential? As discussed in the last blog, playing this Creation Game is most successful when we are playing “with purpose”. Are we living the holistic lifestyle that we know we need to do for optimal health and well-being? Do we meditate daily? Do our friends support our holistic intention and align themselves with conscious lifestyles, as well? Our environment reflects our choices and creates a good mirror for where our feet are. What environment are we creating and what does it say about our real intentions?
“All the happenings of life are but an invitation to grow.
The question, then, is who are we choosing to be in relation
to the happenings of life that we encounter?
It is through our choices and resultant experience
that we grow or evolve from fragmentation to wholeness.”
Master Charles Cannon
These questions are good food for thought as we begin to enter the holiday season … the holy-day season. The English word “holy” is reputed to have come from the word “whole”, which makes sense, then, that it should be revered. The experience of wholeness is the experience of fulfillment and bliss. So it’s appropriate that a focus on wholeness and holistic lifestyle would go a long way toward supporting us at this busy (and often imbalanced) time of year.
1. SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient—Powered by the Science of Games, Penguin Press (September, 2015), pg 90, Kindle location 1305.
3. SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games, Penguin Press (September, 2015), Kindle location 1457.
4. Ibid, Kindle location 1396
5. Ibid, Kindle location 1449